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August 9, 2020

Jon Rahm

San Francisco, California, USA

Harding Park Golf Club

Flash Quotes

JOHN DEVER: Good afternoon. Welcome back to the 2020 PGA Championship here at TPC Harding Park. Pleased to be joined by Jon Rahm. Jon just closed with a 66 and finishes the championship, to this moment it's 7-under par.

Talk about what kind of golf course you saw out there, and your game, and if you have to hang around here for a little bit or what are your thoughts there?

JON RAHM: No, I don't think I'm going to have to hang around. They are playing good golf. As I showed, that back nine is doable. You can get some birdies going. It's not as windy as the last few days, so the tee shots on 12, 13 and 14 are a little bit easier, and you can get some birdies done.

So it would be extremely unexpected for that many people in front of me to fall. With that said, I'm not staying too far away, so if I have to, I'll stay. But just pleased.

The golf course, it's a demanding one. It's difficult. When we played it in the practice rounds with those 20-mile-an-hour winds, I thought winning score could have been over par because of how hard it was played. When it was into it, it kind of got progressively a little bit easier and luckily for me, my game progressively a little bit better.

I struggled Thursday and after that I started hitting the ball really well, especially on the weekend. I played really, really well tee-to-green on the weekend. Just wasn't able to make many putts yesterday, much like my front nine today, but I got it going on the back nine.

Well, just unfortunate that I'm going to be shy of giving them a scare. I ran out of holes. But still, a good performance. First major in a while.

You know, I wasn't playing my best golf last week. I actually played about as bad as I played in a while. To kind of turn it around, good positives going into this week off before the Playoffs. So hopefully -- probably won't happen; hopefully I have to come back, but I don't think so.

JOHN DEVER: Got your momentum back.

Q. I just wanted to ask you about the golf course itself. This is a public golf course for daily play, and there were some skeptics five years ago when it was chosen as a major. Why does it work as a major venue?

JON RAHM: Why would there be skeptics? Torrey Pines is public and we play there every year.

Q. It's a lot shorter than Torrey on the card.

JON RAHM: It did not play like it. Let me say that right now. The thing is, whatever it says on the card, you're at sea level, it was 60 degrees, cloudy and windy. This wind is heavy and the ball goes nowhere, so it does not play that short.

It's a difficult one. We had some difficult setups and pin placements. Today there's a couple more doable ones, such as 14, the short pin on 14, you can hit it close there, and 12, as well. Those three pins we had the first three days on 12 were -- I mean, all on the back, difficult, hard to get to. Today you have a short one where if you hit it in the fairway, it's already one less club to get to it. The one on 10. You know, but at the same time you have some difficult ones.

I think it's a great layout. It's a good design. It's a good layout. It's tough, set up for major championship golf, narrow fairways and difficult greens and firm greens, and if you miss at any point, danger and an extra stroke is lurking at all times. It shows that you need to play really, really good golf.

I hope we come back. I love it. I enjoyed it a lot. I had a really good time, so I hope we come back and play it again.

Q. It seems like it has charm. Does it have charm?

JON RAHM: I don't know. It must be the cypress trees and the air, and this northern California golf. Honestly, I think I like it so much because it reminds me of back home, same weather, very similar style of golf course. I mean, where Seve grew up in PedreƱa, it looks very, very similar, just a lot harder. So I might be a little bit biased. I grew up on poa annua greens, as well, so I don't get to go home back much, but to get weeks like this where it feels like it, it's very, very nice.

Whatever it is, maybe being named after a president, maybe whatever it is, it's got something to it and I think it deserves -- if people are not giving it more recognition than it gets, it's a heck of a golf course.

So hopefully, like I said, hopefully we are back at some point.

Q. Have you been influenced by Bryson's approach or by Tony's approach at all?

JON RAHM: God no. No. Listen, we each have our physical limitations, and I have mine, and that's the reason why I have a short swing, and I'm not going to try to go to the extremes they are going.

Tony has always had that speed and has been dialing back, and I think he learned to play golf dialing -- 185 ball speed was dialing back for him and now I think he's realizing that if he can take advantage of the speed on a couple holes, it's going to be advantageous.

What Bryson has done I still think is remarkable. He's put in the work, and changed whatever, he's had a change in his mind and his game mentally and physically and he's making it work.

You know, we'll see how long it can last, which I think is the longest question we have, right, how long can you swing like that and play like that; will it work everywhere. We don't know. I still work out every day trying to get stronger and trying to figure it out.

Again, I don't feel like I need to keep up with anybody. I think I hit it plenty long and each one is going to have their strengths, so I'm just going to keep working on mine and try to become a better player each day, that's all I can do.

Q. When you come to an open par 5, how much more do you have in your tank from a normal swing?

JON RAHM: Depending how I'm swinging, a little bit. Especially if I'm hitting a draw, I know I can get quite a bit out of it more than I do usually. What I have for the most part, I can reach most par 5s. There's a very small percentage of the ones that I can't reach, so there's no need, and I am actually -- for the distance I have, I'm pretty accurate, so that's my advantage.

Q. You'd rather play from the fairway than the rough?

JON RAHM: If I'm hitting 65 percent of the fairways at 310 yards, I'm close enough on most of the holes as it is. So we'll see. I've long said, all the people being concerned about distance and where things are going, think of courses like Valderrama. Historically, even par is always Top-10 and it's one of the shortest courses we'll play all year. So I will say course design and course setup, I would say is what needs to change instead of giving us 600-yard par 5s, because that's only going to prove the point of people hitting it longer, so you start limiting where we can hit it, I think people are going to run out of sorts and have to play -- Hilton Head is another great example.

So we'll see.

Q. You don't feel like there's a new movement necessarily?

JON RAHM: No. People evolve. Golfers get stronger, I believe. I've talked to Phil many times, and Keith Sbarbaro who works with TaylorMade, and 10, 20 years ago, they would have said being able to hit it 185 and straight, 185-mile-an-hour ball speed hitting straight was impossible, and golfers are getting more fit, stronger, better and more efficient at what we do and better at training.

I feel like in 10, 20 years when I'm close to being done they're all going to be my size. I'm 6'3", 235 and they are all going to be looking more like me, Bryson, Tony, just that type of player, more -- I would say just a bigger type of athlete is what's going to happen, and you know, slowly get stronger. It's just nature of the sport. It's just what it is. Again like I just said, you can make a tight, difficult golf course and make the distance obsolete.

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